NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The Saints won their season-opener against the Bucs behind big plays in all three phases of the game.
New Orleans (1-0) got the 34-23 win over Tampa Bay (0-1) and lead the NFC South after losses by the Panthers and Falcons earlier in the day.
The game captured the biggest TV audience since the Super Bowl. If you missed the game and would like to see it or want to watch it again, there will be a rebroadcast on Tuesday, September 15, at 7 p.m. on WBXH.
Drew Brees was 18-of-30 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He became the all-time NFL leader in pass attempts. Alvin Kamara had 12 carries for 16 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 51 yards and another touchdown. Newly-acquired wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught the other touchdown pass from Brees.
Tight end Jared Cook led the Saints in receiving with five catches for 80 yards, including a 46-yarder. Michael Thomas only had three catches for 17 yards. Latavius Murray was the leading rusher for the Saints with 48 yards on 15 carries.
The Saints defense intercepted Tom Brady twice, including a pick-six by cornerback Janoris Jenkins on the first drive of the second half. Jenkins has eight interceptions for touchdowns in his career, tying him for most defensive touchdowns in NFL history.
The first interception of the game was by Marcus Williams. The defense was also able to sack Brady three times. One of those was by Demario Davis, who reportedly signed a three-year, $27 million extension with $18.35 million guaranteed. The defense was also flagged four times for 101 yards. As a team, the Saints were penalized six times for 119 yards.
The Saints looked really good on special teams also. Wil Lutz made two field goals (29, 21). Margus Hunt blocked a Bucs field goal try in the second quarter in a huge play for the Saints. On the five-yard touchdown catch by Sanders, the Bucs were called for a facemask penalty. The 15 yards were enforced on the kickoff, so instead of booming the ball out of the end zone, the Saints popped up a short kick and two Bucs players ran into each other, allowing the Saints to recover.
Brady was 23-of-36 for 239 yards and two touchdowns, along with those two picks. He also ran in a touchdown. The Bucs finished with 86 yards rushing. Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette just joined the Bucs on September 2 and saw only limited action. He had five carries for five yards. He also caught a pass for 14 yards.
Former LSU linebacker Devin White was tied for leading tackler on the team with 11. Fellow linebacker Lavonte David also had 11. White had five solo tackles and one tackle for loss. He also defended a pass.
Baton Rouge native Malcolm Roach had two tackles for the Saints and both were solo. One of them was a tackle for loss.
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